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Recent Policy Studies
Health CareBy Andrew J. Rettenmaier, Thomas R. Saving, Private Enterprise Research CenterPERCspectives on Policy, 10/31/2013
The US economy took a long figurative pit stop with the great recession of 2008 and 2009. Employment has not recovered to its previous peak and employment is about at the same level as the peak of the last business cycle of more than a decade ago. Health care employment growth has been unaffected by the last two business cycles. Since the beginning of this recession, healthcare employment has grown more than 11 percent. What can we draw from these observations concerning the performance of the health care component of the economy? The fact that health care employment and real per capita consumption grew throughout the business cycle at their prerecession rates are indicative of the fact that health care consumption is largely paid for by third parties. Payment by government and private insurance allows for continued consumption growth even during a severe recession.
EducationBy Jonathan Butcher, Jason Bedrick, Friedman Foundation for Educational ChoicePaper, 10/31/2013
Thousands of families across the country are using school vouchers to access private schools for their children. However, Arizona’s education savings accounts (ESAs) are on the leading edge of school choice, encouraging greater innovation in American education. Whereas parents and families normally use vouchers and tax credit scholarships to decide where their children attend school, Arizona parents use ESAs to determine where and how their youngsters are educated. This paper examines results from the first survey of parental satisfaction among ESA families, and the survey is the first to ask how families would like ESAs to change. This paper is the first research effort to describe the types of families who are using education savings accounts.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Craig D. Idso, et al., Heartland InstituteReport, 10/31/2013
Many scientists, policymakers, and engaged citizens have become concerned over the possibility that man-made greenhouse gas emissions, in particular carbon dioxide (CO2), may be causing dangerous climate change. A primary reason for this public alarm is a series of reports issued by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC claims to know, apparently with rising certainty over time, that “most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.” This Summary for Policymakers summarizes and interprets a major scientific report that refutes this claim.
Health CareBy David Burton, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 10/31/2013
Obamacare imposes a new tax on health insurance premiums, starting in 2014, that will increase individual and small group health insurance premiums by an additional 2–3 percent. This will have an adverse impact on consumers and reduce employment but have little impact on large employers and their employees, because large firms usually self-insure. The tax is hidden from consumers, and it should be repealed.
Health CareBy Steven Globerman, Fraser InstituteBook, 10/31/2013
Canadian patients face wait times for a wide range of health care services, particularly specialty services and procedures. For example, in 2012 Canadians could expect to wait 8.5 weeks on average from GP referral to consultation with a specialist. They could also expect to wait 9.3 weeks on average from specialist appointment to treatment. However, waiting lists impose indirect costs on those required to wait for health care, often including anxiety and physical pain and limitations. The larger the indirect costs, the more likely it is that waiting lists have net overall costs for Canadian society. Furthermore, waiting for medical services may lead to a worsening of the health status of patients such that it is ultimately more costly to treat them once they come off the waiting list or, in the extreme, impossible to restore them to health.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy Victor E. Schwartz, Cary Silverman, Washington Legal FoundationResearch, 10/31/2013
Plaintiffs’ lawyers know that the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) does not extend federal jurisdiction to “mass actions” that seek monetary relief for less than 100 persons in a joint trial. They have adroitly circumvented federal courts and kept cases that, in actual fact, involve more than 100 persons in friendly Judicial Hellhole™ style state courts by filing mass actions in separate groups. The allegations on behalf of these groups of plaintiffs are identical. The plaintiffs’ lawyers then request that a state court consolidate these cases for all procedural purposes, being careful not to specifically request consolidation of the cases “for trial.” Their purpose is to obtain state court action on all aspects of the litigation and obtain mass action “clout” that will push defendants into a substantial settlement regardless of the merits of the cases. Defendants can effectively counter such attempts, which are contrary to the purpose of CAFA.
Health CareBy Center for Health Policy Studies, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 10/31/2013
Obamacare moves American health care in the wrong direction by eroding the doctor–patient relationship, centralizing control, and increasing health costs. True health care reform would empower individuals, with their doctors, to make their own health care decisions free from government interference. Therefore, Obamacare should be stopped and fully repealed. Then Congress and the states should enact patient-centered, market-based reforms that better serve Americans. For a better life, Americans need a health care system that they, not the government, control. Consumers should have the ability to choose how to meet their health insurance needs in a free market for insurance. Taxpayers should benefit from a more efficient and affordable system for helping those who need health care but cannot afford it. Above all, patients, with their doctors, should make their own health care decisions free from government interference.
Budget & TaxationBy William McBride, Tax FoundationFiscal Facts, 10/31/2013
After years of slow economic growth and a burgeoning tax code, many in Congress and elsewhere have recognized that now is the time for tax reform. Unfortunately, the political process is often at odds with reform, because it tends to protect the status quo, including the tendency to use the tax code to implement industrial and social policy rather than using it simply as a way to raise revenue. Meanwhile, the U.S. tax system has become less and less competitive as the rest of the world works to reform their tax codes. If the U.S. is to regain its standing and return to robust economic growth, it will need to first acknowledge the areas of the tax code that are the least competitive and most problematic in terms of complexity. The following are twelve steps that should be taken toward a simpler, pro-growth tax code.
Budget & TaxationBy Curtis S. Dubay, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 10/31/2013
The House and Senate have convened a conference committee in an attempt to reconcile the very different budgets they passed earlier this year. Some have suggested that, if the Senate refuses to agree to tax reform in the course of negotiations, the House should seek a repatriation holiday instead. A repatriation holiday would eliminate almost all the tax liability businesses accrued on foreign income. Mixing tax reform with spending reforms would be a mistake in the budget conference, as would asking for a repatriation holiday instead, because it would not increase business investment and job creation, as those arguing for it intend.
Budget & TaxationBy Michelle Minton, David Scott, Competitive Enterprise InstituteResearch, 10/31/2013
America’s beer industry directly supports over 1 million jobs and nearly $100 billion in economic activity. And over the last two decades, the craft beer market has seen explosive growth. However, the entire beer industry still faces the burden of a specifically targeted excise tax placed on it at the repeal of Prohibition in large part to discourage beer consumption. Today, many politicians, brewers, trade groups, and consumers are seeking relief from the excise tax. Two competing bills currently pending in Congress, creatively titled the BEER Act and the Small BREW Act, would reduce the tax in different ways. While neither bill is perfect, enacting either one would be a victory for the beer industry and consumers. However, for long-term reform the best course of action is for Congress to repeal the excise tax altogether.
Budget & TaxationBy Stephen J. Entin, Tax FoundationFiscal Facts, 10/31/2013
Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) of the House Ways and Means Committee has pledged to offer a tax reform package that would significantly reduce corporate and individual tax rates while remaining revenue neutral by eliminating many tax preferences. The greatest difficulty in crafting such a package lies in the fact that many so-called tax expenditures are necessary to avoid various types of double taxation of saving and investment. The “normal” income tax routinely taxes income used for saving and investment more heavily than income used for consumption. One such adverse trade-off consists of switching from the current Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) to the Alternative Depreciation System (ADS). Cost recovery is slower under ADS than under MACRS. The solution is to modify ADS to retain more of the present value of the MACRS system while still allowing for slower write-offs during the budget window.
Budget & TaxationBy David Stokes, Show-Me InstituteTestimony, 10/31/2013
The redevelopment of the General American building in downtown Saint Louis is exciting, but the now standard assumption of public subsidies for these projects is unfortunate. According to the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) application for this project, the developer is asking for more than $16 million in public assistance (which includes more than just this $8,148,000 TIF request). Saint Louis crossed the Rubicon of authorizing TIF far too frequently many years ago. However, even by Saint Louis’ generous TIF standards, $8 million in Tax Increment Financing to help a company move two blocks is eye-opening. This is another excellent opportunity for this commission to reconsider the constant subsidy approach. Nothing about this project should involve public assistance.
Crime, Justice & the LawBy Lauren Galik, Julian Morris, Reason FoundationResearch, 10/30/2013
Over the past several decades, Louisiana legislators have passed a number of determinate sentencing laws aimed at reducing crime and incapacitating certain types of offenders. Because these laws have been disproportionately applied to nonviolent crimes, nonviolent offenders now account for the majority of inmates and admissions to prison in the state. This has produced a number of unfortunate consequences, such as an increase in the state’s prison population from 21,007 in 1992 to 39,709 in 2011 and a $315 million increase in correction expenditures. Meanwhile, there is little evidence that the laws have done anything to reduce Louisiana’s violent crime rate. Louisiana legislators could repeal minimum sentences for nonviolent offenses and amend the habitual offender law so that it applies only to those convicted of two or more violent or sex offenses.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Roy Cordato, John Locke FoundationSpotlight, 10/30/2013
Over the last several years there have been a great many claims about energy subsidies and which sources get more, renewables or traditional sources like coal or oil. Representatives of the renewable energy industry and environmental groups often cite total dollar amounts without reference to the amount of energy being generated. Free market analysts typically examine the amount of government subsidies going to renewables versus traditional energy weighted by the amount of energy that they produce. The analysis on both sides of the debate focuses on gross subsidies. What is economically more relevant is net subsidies, which includes not only policies that subsidize the relevant industries but also the value of policies that penalize those industries. From the perspective of economics, and liberty, the important question is – how are coercive policies distorting supply and demand relative to a free market that reflects actual scarcities, production costs, and consumer preferences?
Regulation & DeregulationBy James L. Gattuso, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 10/30/2013
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is in trouble. The problems are not simply a result of faulty accounting rules for postal pension plans as some have suggested. The market for paper mail is rapidly shrinking, caused by the growth of digital communications, which has eroded almost every category of mail ranging from personal letters to bill payments. Fundamental changes are needed to enable the USPS to survive, including consolidation of facilities and reduction in the number of days that mail is delivered. But Congress is blocking the needed changes. Instead, Congress should lift restrictions on postal reforms, while also lifting limits on competition with this government-owned enterprise.
Certified: The Need to Repeal CON: Counter to Their Intent, Certificate of Need Laws Raise Health Care CostsBy Jon Sanders, John Locke FoundationSpotlight, 10/30/2013
Certificate of Need (CON) laws use central planning to try to reduce health care costs by keeping health care facilities from buying too much equipment, building too much capacity, and adding too many beds. Four decades’ worth of data and research into CON laws have produced a recurring theme in the research literature: CON laws fail to lower health care costs; if anything, they raise them. North Carolina hosts one of the most restrictive CON programs in the country, regulating 25 different services. While patients and rural communities are negatively impacted by CON restrictions (especially the poor, elderly, and those with emergencies), existing hospitals and medical service providers reap the benefits of CON laws insulating them from competition. State leaders could honor the intent behind CON—preventing unnecessary increases in health care costs—by repealing CON.
Foreign Policy/International AffairsBy Luke Coffey, The Heritage FoundationBackgrounder, 10/30/2013
The three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have proven to be staunch American allies since they regained their independence in the early 1990s. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, each has made huge progress in implementing democracy, rule of law, economic freedom, and developing a strong national defense. They accomplished this by aligning themselves with the West—particularly the United States—while rejecting Russian calls to remain neutral or inside the Russian sphere of influence after the end of the Cold War. While small in size and population, the Baltic states represent something much bigger geopolitically: They are staunch defenders of economic freedom, liberal democracy, and human rights. The U.S. should deepen the U.S.–Baltic defense and security relationship by proactively seeking new areas of cooperation and building on old ties. It is in America’s as well as NATO’s interests to do so.
EducationBy Joshua Dwyer, Illinois Policy InstituteSpecial Report, 10/30/2013
More than 21,000 students in Chicago Public Schools, or CPS, are being left behind. They are attending schools that fail to prepare them for life. A majority of students attending the lowest 10 percent of elementary schools and high schools in Chicago don’t have basic competence in reading, science and math. They’re significantly behind their peers in almost every respect. Things are even worse at the city’s lowest-performing high schools. Half of the more than 5,000 students attending these schools scored in the lowest category on the state exam in math, meaning they can only do basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems. Politicians need to lift the charter school cap, creating an environment where online and blended learning can thrive, and support choice programs such as vouchers, tax-credit scholarships and education savings accounts.
Budget & TaxationBy Chris Jacobs, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 10/30/2013
Many Americans could face a rude awakening when they discover that the subsidies they thought they were getting to offset their health care costs are less than what they were promised. Some claim that the Obamacare subsidies are exempt from the spending reductions established by the Budget Control Act (BCA), but that is only half right. The BCA exempts only the premium subsidies, not the cost-sharing subsidies, from upcoming cuts. Regrettably, the Obama Administration has not taken steps to inform the American people of this fact as they navigate coverage options in the government exchanges.
Budget & TaxationBy Salim Furth, et al. , The Heritage FoundationWorking Paper, 10/30/2013
Washington must learn from Europe’s mistakes, or be doomed to repeat them. Those who favor ever-increasing spending and loathe smaller government prefer to call any measures to reduce deficits “austerity.” This report examines closely what the governments in Europe actually did, with precise technical descriptions and analysis. Some reduced spending, others increased taxes, and some pursued a combination of the two to right their fiscal imbalance. Interestingly, the data reveal that the governments did not always follow through with their plans as originally envisioned. This report demonstrates that not all methods of fiscal restraint were equal: increasing taxes was more damaging to the economy and less effective in reducing deficits than spending cuts. The effective way to shrink deficits – reducing spending – leads to stronger economic growth over time, while the counterproductive way – tax increases – leads to slower economic growth and lingering ill-effects, with less deficit reduction than advertised.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Craig D. Idso, et al., Heartland InstitutePolicy Brief, 10/30/2013
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a final version of the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of its Fifth Assessment Report on September 27, 2013. It differs in important ways from a draft SPM dated June 2013 that circulated widely in the preceding months. As discussed below, the new SPM reveals the IPCC has retreated from at least 11 alarmist claims promulgated in its previous reports or by scientists prominently associated with the IPCC. The SPM also contains at least 13 misleading or untrue statements, and 11 further statements that are phrased in such a way that they mislead readers or misrepresent important aspects of the science.
Budget & TaxationBy David A. Skeel, Federalist SocietyWhite Paper, 10/30/2013
From the moment Detroit became the first major city to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 9 it was clear that a key issue, possibly the key issue, in the case is whether Detroit’s pensions can be restructured. Detroit’s pension funds have insisted that pensions cannot be adjusted in any way. My analysis suggests that pensioners have a protected property interest to the extent the pension is funded, but that any unfunded portion will be treated as an unsecured claim that can be restructured in bankruptcy. The extent of restructuring that is possible or desirable in any given case will depend on confirmation requirements such as the best interests of creditors and no unfair discrimination requirements.
Health CareBy Bacchus Barua, Nadeem Esmail, Fraser InstituteReport, 10/30/2013
Waiting times for elective medical treatment have increased since last year. Specialist physicians surveyed across 12 specialties and 10 Canadian provinces report a total waiting time of 18.2 weeks between referral from a general practitioner and receipt of elective treatment. Wait times for surgical and other therapeutic treatments have increased in 2013. The total waiting time between referral from a general practitioner and delivery of elective treatment by a specialist, averaged across all 12 special ties and 10 provinces surveyed, has risen from 17.7 weeks in 2012 to 18.2 weeks in 2013. Compared to 1993, the total waiting time in 2013 is 95 per cent longer.
LaborBy Maxford Nelsen, Freedom FoundationResearch, 10/30/2013
If unions are for $15 an hour, full-time jobs on principle, why don’t they pay their own employees accordingly? Proposition 1 would establish a $15 minimum wage for certain transportation and hospitality employers in the City of SeaTac. The law does not apply to unions. The report finds that the seven local labor unions which are the primary backers of Proposition 1 fail to provide many of their own employees with full-time, $15 an hour jobs, though they appear quite able to do so. 64% of workers employed by local unions earn less than the living wage for a single adult with two children. 26% of local union employees earn less than a full-time $15 an hour minimum wage.
Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & ScienceBy Sofie Miller, Federalist SocietyEngage, 10/30/2013
Through a series of Executive Orders, President Obama has encouraged federal regulatory agencies to review existing regulations. An examination of EPA’s retrospective review plan and progress report does not reveal the unprecedented cost savings and burden reductions for which many observers had hoped. Only one-fifth of the regulatory actions in EPA’s retrospective review progress report are expected to reduce costs. EPA provides no information on the effects of the majority of its retrospective review actions. It expects 11 percent of them will have no effect, and a number of regulatory actions will actually increase burdens on regulated entities. Additionally, all of the regulatory review actions which increase costs will fall to manufacturers, adding to the already significant regulatory burdens which exist in that sector.
LaborBy Maxford Nelsen, Freedom FoundationResearch, 10/30/2013
Although many public and private employers hire their employees under terms established by collective bargaining, some workers may not want to be part of a union. Unions have managed to make some kind of union association inevitable for many public employees. While courts have made it clear that public employees may not be forced to join a union outright, they can be required to pay certain union fees. State and federal law provide three options for public employees who do not want to be part of a union or would like to limit their support of union activities.
Economic GrowthBy Kevin D. Williamson, Encounter BooksBook, 10/30/2013
Many cities have struggled with the decline of key industries, but Detroit—which is now in bankruptcy—is both a victim of the decline of the Michigan automobile industry and a cause of it. Its poisonous blend of race-based politics and union domination has left it impoverished and diminished. Once the fourth-largest city in the country, it is today smaller than Fort Worth. Once the nation’s most prosperous city, it is today the poorest. More terrifying is the fact that the imbalance between public-sector consumption and private-sector production that helped make Detroit what it is today is by no means limited to the Motor City. Detroit is not just a case study, but a portent.
ImmigrationBy Jessica M. Vaughan, Center for Immigration StudiesBackgrounder, 10/30/2013
A key talking point for proponents of amnesty for illegal aliens is that the Obama administration has made historic improvements to border security and immigration enforcement, leading to “record” numbers of deportations that surpass the performance of earlier administrations. This report examines data from a collection of mostly unpublished internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE statistics, to provide an alternative evaluation of the administration’s record on immigration enforcement that is based on raw statistics rather than pre-packaged press kits. These statistics show that, contrary to what is commonly believed, in fact immigration enforcement in the interior has slowed significantly in the last few years. Focus has shifted away from interior enforcement in favor of processing aliens who are apprehended by the Border Patrol.
Family, Culture & CommunityBy Francis Rooney, American Enterprise InstituteThe American, 10/30/2013
It is clear that the Catholic Church, being a human enterprise, occasionally falls short. But these lapses do not overshadow the good the church has accomplished in the past and—more to the point—can accomplish in the future. The church is one of the leading advocates and providers for the poor in the world, fights against the scourge of human trafficking, and advances the cause of human dignity and rights more than any other organization on earth. It is religion, specifically Christianity and its organized framework for defining and advancing moral principles, which distinguishes Western civilization from prior ones, driving it forward and preventing its degeneration into amorality. The universal Catholic Church continues to provide such a framework. The world, I would argue, is better off for it.
Transportation/InfrastructureBy Randal O'Toole, Cato InstitutePolicy Analysis, 10/30/2013
In response to state laws and federal incentives, cities and metropolitan areas across the country are engaged in “sustainability planning” aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In many if not most cases, this planning seeks to reshape urban areas to reduce the amount of driving people do. In general, this means increasing urban population densities and in particular replacing low-density neighborhoods in transit corridors with dense, mixed-use developments. These plans should be abandoned because they intrude on property rights and personal housing preferences and are cost-ineffective at saving energy and reducing emissions.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy Richard A. Epstein, Hoover InstitutionDefining Ideas, 10/29/2013
JP Morgan Chase (JPM) just had a bad week dueling with the federal government. First, it got slapped with a $5.1 billion settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) for its mortgage dealings with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; then, it got wrapped into a criminal investigation involving Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, which the government now insists that JPM should have detected. In both civil and criminal proceedings, the Department of Justice is bringing to heel a bank that came into two major mistakes. First, the bank did business with the federal government. Second, it was regulated by it.
Budget & TaxationBy Curtis S. Dubay, The Heritage FoundationIssue Brief, 10/29/2013
The recent deal to end the government shutdown and lift the debt ceiling requires the House and Senate to convene a conference committee, where they will seek to reconcile the respective budgets each chamber passed this year. Conferees will face strong pressure to strike a “grand bargain” to lower the deficit by both cutting spending and raising taxes. This is the wrong approach. Overspending is the driver of the nation’s deficit and debt problem, and bringing tax increases and tax reform into the budget conference would distract from the important work of reining it in.
National SecurityBy Frederick W. Kagan, American Enterprise InstituteTestimony, 10/29/2013
Reasonable people can disagree about the desirability of committing to a long-term relationship with Afghanistan, keeping American troops there, giving large amounts of financial aid to Pakistan, and many other specific policy decisions in South Asia. We can certainly argue about what strategies might work or probably won't work. But all of these discussions should be based on a common set of facts that are not really arguable. American national security requires defeating al Qaeda and all other affiliated groups that seek to kill Americans, working with local partners to prevent those groups from maintaining or re-establishing safe-havens from which to do so, and retaining the ability to take direct action against those groups if and when required.
LaborBy Antony Davies, Mercatus CenterResearch, 10/29/2013
This paper examines common arguments for and against the minimum wage, results of studies on the employment effects of the minimum wage, and data comparing changes in the minimum wage to changes in unemployment rates for workers with varying educational attainments. It also examines data comparing changes in the minimum wage to changes in income inequality at both the national and state levels. Applying the results to New Jersey’s likely upcoming minimum wage increase, I estimate that the unemployment rate for young workers without high school educations will rise by almost two percentage points while the unemployment rate for older workers without high school educations will rise by almost one percentage point.
Regulation & DeregulationBy Andy Winkler, Sam Batkins, American Action ForumResearch, 10/28/2013
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is not the most aggressive regulator in the executive branch, but in recent years its paperwork growth has increased substantially. A doubling of paperwork since FY 2008 is a feat not even Treasury or HHS could match, despite the implementation of Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act. HUD’s new regulatory burdens are more than just big numbers; they have profound implications for consumers, lenders, and the nation’s housing market.
Health CareBy John Davidson, Texas Public Policy FoundationResearch, 10/28/2013
On October 1, the federally-facilitated health insurance exchanges, or “marketplaces,” established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) launched nation-wide. In general, the impact on individuals will vary depending on age, gender, location, health status, income level and current coverage. However, an analysis of the exchange rates shows they are on average significantly higher than coverage available on the individual market in Texas prior to the ACA, and that the net effect of the law is to increase premium rates on Texas’ individual health insurance market in absolute terms.
Monetary Policy/Financial RegulationBy John H. Makin, American Enterprise InstituteEconomic Outlook, 10/28/2013
Unlike the US fiscal cliff, which was largely defused by congressional action, the US monetary cliff—which will be reached if US inflation rates turn negative—cannot be easily circumvented. Over the past two years, US, European, and Chinese inflation rates have drifted steadily lower, and Japan’s “end-deflation” initiatives have produced only modest relief from 15 years of negative inflation (deflation). Once an economy slips into deflation, the risk of falling into a self-reinforcing deflationary spiral rises. And as deflation increases, investment, spending, lending, and employment growth suffer. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his recently nominated successor Janet Yellen can prevent the United States from falling off the monetary cliff by making deflation avoidance a more clearly stated Fed objective and by setting a new range for inflation that has a hard lower bound.
Economic and Political ThoughtBy Kim Holmes, Rowman & LittlefieldBook, 10/28/2013
Today, American families fear our country is declining – both our economy and culture in deep crisis. Yet Kim Holmes reveals that decline is a choice. In Rebound, he lays out the vision and everyday practices for Americans to reconnect our historical DNA... and rediscover greatness. Rebound keeps the big ideas in focus using stories and anecdotes that all of us can grasp.
LaborBy Ben Gitis, American Action ForumResearch, 10/28/2013
There has been widespread discussion of an increase in the minimum wage, sparked by President Obama’s State of the Union address proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 and index it for inflation. It raises the question of whether the hiring of low-wage workers will be impeded. New research by Meer and West (2013) suggests that a negative impact of the minimum wage can be isolated by focusing on employment dynamics. Specifically, they find that a 10 percent increase in the real minimum wage is associated with a 0.53 percentage point decrease in the net job growth rate. This paper uses these recent research results to look at the employment implications of the California minimum wage increase. Our analysis finds that for California, this wage increase means a loss of 191,000 jobs. If every state followed suit, over 2.3 million new jobs would be lost across the country.
After Hurricane Sandy: Time to Learn and Implement the Lessons in Preparedness, Response, and ResilienceBy Steven P. Bucci, et al., The Heritage FoundationSpecial Report, 10/28/2013
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must no longer be made to respond to all manner of routine disasters, so that when truly catastrophic disasters strike, such as Hurricane Sandy, FEMA and its pocketbook are prepared. Where FEMA failed in its response efforts and overall preparedness, the National Guard and Coast Guard excelled. Ensuring that such success continues in the future requires that both Guards receive the resources they need. More responsibility should be returned to the states in terms of disaster response and recovery. So too, the vital role of the local community, civil society, and the private sector must not be overlooked. These lessons should have been learned before—from Hurricane Katrina to the Gulf oil spill—yet the nation continues to fall short in terms of planning for catastrophic disaster response and recovery.